A toddler has ended up losing both legs and seven fingers after a deadly infection was missed by doctors.

Reuben Harvey-Smith, developed toxic shock syndrome after scorching himself on an iron.

When his mum, Lou, took the three-year-old to the emergency department with a fever and sore throat, she was sent home with pills for tonsillitis.

The next day, he was rushed back to hospital fighting for his life.

The infection was caused by harmless bacteria that entered his wound and released toxins into the blood.

If not treated quickly, it can kill.

Reuben had to have both legs amputated below the knee after the infection took hold.


Lou is now taking legal action against the hospital, which has admitted liability.

Lou told UK’s The Mirror “I try not to get angry – at the end of the day I’ve still got my son.

“What I have to do now is make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else.”

The Ipswich Hospital, which treated Reuben, has admitted amputation could have been avoided by quicker diagnosis.

A pay-out of $50,000 has already been received over the incident, which took place in July last year but the final sum could be $4 million.

Ipswich Hospital trust in the UK said “We’ve offered an unreserved apology to Reuben and his family and are working with them.”